Can airline flights be delayed due to heat?

Last updated on August 9, 2023

Hot weather is a common factor that contributes to delays in airline flights. High temperatures affect aircraft performance by reducing the air density, making it more difficult for the plane to take off. As temperatures increase, more power is needed to get the plane off the ground. At temperatures above 33°C, the air becomes so thin that the plane may not be able to fly safely.

Impact of High Temperatures on Airline Flights

High temperatures can cause planes to lose lift, making it difficult to fly. When the temperature outside is too high, the pressure in the plane’s engine decreases, and it can’t generate enough power to take off. In some cases, the plane may be able to take off but the cabin won’t be pressurized, which can cause the passengers to experience discomfort.

Aside from affecting engine performance, extreme temperatures can damage aircraft components and reduce their lifespan. Hot weather may cause the engine components and wings to expand which can lead to cracks or even structural failures. In hot locations such as Arizona, airlines may avoid flying during the hottest months of the year due to the increased risk of mechanical failures.


High temperatures can have a significant impact on airline flights, potentially leading to delays and mechanical failures. Airlines take weather conditions into consideration when planning flights, and may opt to delay or cancel flights if the temperature is too high. To ensure the safety of passengers, airlines will take all necessary precautions when accounting for extreme weather conditions.

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